2009 Volume 24 Issue 4 Pages 315-321
Among the fundamental questions in marine microbial ecology are which taxa or phylogenetic groups account for total bacterial productivity and what is the relative contribution of each. We combined bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) immunocytochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridization (BIC-FISH) to examine phylotype-specific contributions to total bacterial productivity in eutrophic seawater. We also examined year-round changes in phylotype-specific contributions and explored the factors controlling these changes. Monitoring by BIC-FISH throughout the year revealed the importance of the Roseobacter/Rhodobacter group as a constantly proliferating basic population (27% of all BrdU-positive cells), although their contribution was not significantly correlated with water temperature or with chlorophyll a or organic matter concentration. The Bacteroidetes were another important group, as they greatly increased in abundance after the end of phytoplankton blooms. Two other phylotypes tested, the SAR86 and Vibrio groups, changed their contributions to bacterial productivity with changes in water temperature. To our knowledge, this study was the first to estimate the yearly contribution of major subgroups of marine bacteria to total bacterial productivity in a seawater environment.